Posted tagged ‘Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute’

What is OpenMissouri?

September 8, 2010

OpenMissouri is a project created by David Herzog, a faculty fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.  The one-year pilot project is designed to promote government transparency by informing journalists, information professionals, citizens and businesses about offline data held by state agencies.  The keystone of the project will be a website, to launch in November, that will feature a card catalog that provides information and how-to tips on accessing offline databases and descriptive details about the information they contain.  Users will also be able to post actual data that they uncover during research projects.

So far OpenMissouri has the support of the Missouri Press and Broadcasters associations and the Missouri Sunshine Coalition and is actively seeking organizations and individuals to lend support by:

Spreading the word about OpenMissouri

Following the project on Twitter: @OpenMissouri

Helping build data card catalog

Using the website

Participating in conversations on the site

Contributing data

More information:


Journalism Ethics Forum “Public trust through public engagement”

October 26, 2009

November 15-17
RJI (Reynolds Journalism Institute) will host a public forum on journalism ethics.
Open to the public; livestream available
Topics to be explored:

  • Defining journalism ethics and values in the digital age
  • Better understanding public attitudes about journalism ethics
  • Putting the public in “public service journalism”
  • New thoughts about community connections
  • Developing new resources for examining ethical questions
  • Better collaboration between journalism educators and professionals

For more information about the forum, click here.

Missouri Sunshine Coalition to hold inaugural meeting

February 11, 2009

Feb. 11, 2009

By Jim Robertson
Columbia Daily Tribune

A new organization for people who want to promote government openness at all levels in Missouri will hold a public reception and program on Thursday, March 12, in Columbia. The event is free.

The Missouri Sunshine Coalition is seeking individual and organization members from all areas of the public. It will hold a 2 p.m. reception and 3 p.m. program at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the School of Journalism at MU.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has been invited to speak at the 3 p.m. program. Other speakers will be Charles Davis, director of the National Freedom of Information Center, which is based at the School of Journalism; and Mike Wood, director of governmental relations for the Missouri State Teachers Association.

The group’s founders have met three times to elect a board of directors, to approve bylaws and a mission statement, and to plan the March 12 program. On Jan. 15 the group elected Jim Robertson, managing editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune, president.

Until now, Missouri was one of the few states in the country that did not have an organization whose mission is to promote government transparency. This group hopes to bring together all individuals and organizations in Missouri who want to minimize secrecy in the operations of local and state government agencies.

Following is the Mission Statement of the Missouri Sunshine Coalition, Inc.
1. Members of the Missouri Sunshine Coalition believe the best form of government is that which operates in a free and open environment, giving its citizens unfettered access to information as to its activities and the use of its public funds.
2. We believe government exists to serve its citizens and access to such information should be simple and at minimal cost.
3. The Missouri Sunshine Coalition exists to support citizens of this State in their efforts to exercise their rights under the Missouri Sunshine Law, which is premised on the foundation that “It is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law.”

Serving the Coalition with Robertson are Vice President Jo Sapp, Columbia, League of Women Voters; Secretary Jean Maneke, Kansas City, an attorney who is an expert on the Missouri Sunshine Law; and Treasurer Mike Sherry, Kansas City, Kansas City Business Journal.

Members of the Board of Directors are Jean Buchanan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Jack Whitaker, Hannibal Courier-Post; Don Hicks, Jefferson City, Missouri Broadcasters Association; Brenda Jones, St Louis, American Civil Liberties Union of eastern Missouri; and Randy Picht, Kansas City, The Associated Press.

The officers and directors were chosen from among those who attended the organizational meetings of the Coalition.

Membership in the coalition costs $25 for an organization or individual.

For more information on membership or to RSVP for the March 12 event, please contact Kristie Williams,, 573-449-4167.

‘Freedom Sings’ program in Columbia, MO

January 29, 2008

You are an exceptional individual if you can name all of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A 2006 survey found that only three Americans in 1,000 could name all five: speech, press, religion, assembly
and petition.
“Freedom Sings™,” a critically acclaimed multimedia program of the Freedom Forum, hopes to improve these statistics when it opens the 2008 centennial and dedication celebration of the Missouri School of Journalism and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. The 90-minute event will be held the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 10, at the University of Missouri.
“The First Amendment Center and its ongoing program ‘Freedom Sings™’ are pleased to be part of the celebration of the Missouri program, of journalism  education at its highest level,” said Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the Center in Nashville, Tenn. “Music and musicians are a great way to remind our fellow citizens — particularly young adults — of the power, passion and value of free expression.”
The 2006 “State of the First Amendment” poll documents a general lack of First Amendment knowledge by the public. A recent survey of young Americans by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum revealed that twice as many Americans can name characters from The Simpsons’ cartoon family than those able to name more than one of the freedoms.
“Freedom Sings™” presents First Amendment information within the context of three centuries of banned or censored music in America. The program features live performances by hit songwriters and Grammy Award winners, along with video and live narration.
Ken Paulson, BJ ’75, now editor of USA Today, had hundreds of songs with alleged references to drugs, sexuality, violence and more to choose from when he created and wrote the production. He developed it when he served as executive director of the First Amendment Center. Paulson, who began his career as a music writer and rock critic, will co-narrate the program in Columbia with Policinski.